A somewhat startling new trend in recent years is “mommy drinking” culture. Meant to be innocent and funny, it’s common to see t-shirts, memes, and coffee mugs that might say “This is actually wine”, or “It’s Wine o’clock.” Products and apparel make it seem more normalized, or that “everyone is doing it”. It may even, for some mothers, serve to justify drinking above what is normal.
Now, it’s likely that most moms are not drinking to the point of over doing it, or even blacking out. The narrative is not waking up with guilt about drinking, or feeling oppressed by alcohol or drug use. But a new narrative today is that parenting is hard to do without casual drinking. There’s more pressure to “Rosé All Day” as new and seasoned moms feel more anxious or stressed about their parenting.
Most mothers know that parenting is difficult and, at times, incredibly isolating. Often moms feel pressure, or feel that they are not good enough, worthy enough, or feel insecure about their decisions they’ve made for their family. If a mom is potentially in a situation where she doesn’t have much support from local family or friends, it can be even more difficult to cope.
Many women see images on social media, or might see their friends drinking and feel that “mommy drinking” is commonplace and a way to bond with other mothers. However, for some women, this messaging can be incredibly harmful. Using alcohol to cope with the stresses of parenting on a regular basis is harmful and can become an addictive habit.
JAMA Psychiatry recently published a study about high-risk drinking, which they define as having consumed four or more drinks per day at least one day a week. This study showed that in recent years, high-risk drinking has increased for women by 60% and alcohol disorders have increased by 84%. Women are also dying from alcohol-related deaths, which have risen by 85% in the past decade. Death rates for men only rose 29% in the same timeframe.
While the occasional glass of wine has shown to be beneficial to health, it’s important to recognize when alcohol use has shifted to being harmful. If you find that you or a loved one has gotten caught up in the trend, here are some questions to ask:
- How much are you drinking?
- Why are you drinking?
- What is the importance of alcohol in your daily life?
If you believe you may be self-medicating with alcohol due to stress or anxiety, or you’re drinking everyday, it may be time to get some help. It might be cliche, but admitting you have a problem is truly the first step.
Reach out for help from a licensed healthcare professional in your area, or research substance abuse resources where you live. Alcohol Anonymous is a great place to start. It’s not likely that by next year all moms will be wearing a “Therapy All Day” t-shirt, but women can start working to end the culture that mothers need alcohol to successfully parent their children and stay sane.
Here are some resources to check out: